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Brazilian entrepreneur develops startups, ZigPay and Unike, with technology for nightclubs

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Brazilian entrepreneur André Barretto wants to take the experience of going to nightclubs to the next level with technology. For this reason, as of 2016, he’s founded two startups. First, payment solution ZigPay, followed by facial-recognition tech developer, Unike in 2018. 

The two startups are aimed at making nightlife more secure, seamless, and above all else, cash-free.

ZigPay for fast payments

Fintech ZigPay wants partygoers to leave the credit card (and cash) at home. To achieve this, it offers users a prepaid card that they can carry with them, along with their phone, when they go out.

When money is transferred onto ZigPay’s card, it acts as the token to complete payments to a partnering bar. As the person buys their drinks, the startup’s app displays what’s been consumed.

ZigPay sounds like the app to keep consumers who are watching their budget on track—even when there’s booze involved. That is, assuming they stay sober enough to remember there’s a limit to their spending. 

In any case, since users leave their wallets at home, they may feel more secure.

Unike combines nightclubs and facial recognition

Unike also desires to make the nightlife experience easier. Moreover, this São Paulo-based tech company is developing facial recognition technology to make it unnecessary to even carry the ZigPay card around. Just, well, your face.

With biometrics, a camera can scan a registered person’s facial features and compare them to a database. Then, a restaurant or club can verify if that person made a reservation, can complete a payment, is a frequent customer, or whatever fits their bill.

The startup also has other markets in mind. For example, its facial recognition system can act as an additional layer of security in companies and residencies.

Meanwhile, for events, Unike wants to replace physical tickets and even cell phones.

If all of this is starting to sound like 1984, Barretto assures that its solutions comply with Brazil’s upcoming General Data Protection Act which will enter into force in August of this year. So privacy does seem to be a priority.

The idea of going out without carrying anything on you sounds like a sweet deal. If you don’t mind feeling observed, that is.


Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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